How Many Apps Does It Take to Screw In a Lightbulb?
In talking about the technology and business today, the question isn’t whether or not the technology exists, but rather, which one do I choose? There seems to be an app or a service or a software for everything.
Last week, we talked about a study done by Dell and Intel that found 41 percent of small business owners feel their needs are becoming increasingly complex and are “bombarded with new technologies to sort through and a plethora of information to absorb.”
There’s some simple things you can consider when seeking out new technology that should help narrow down what you need.
- Are my needs big or small? If you’re simply looking to be better organized, you may be able to use an app like Evernote that allows you to access things you’re working on from any computer or mobile device. However, if you’re trying to manage a growing customer base or handle the payroll and payroll tax needs of your company, you might try something like Salesforce.com or SurePayroll. Be careful not to underestimate or overestimate the scope of your needs.
- What can I get for free? If you’re thinking about paying for something, check if there is a free version available. Services for data storage or video conferencing are free with Google Drive and Google Hangouts. This is one of the advantages of the rapidly expanding technology field.
- Is there support? If you’re using technology for an important function of your business or something that is core to your product or service, you want to make sure the technology has customer support.
Remember, technology should not mean you’re giving up on service from your provider.
Michael Alter, payroll expert with an MBA from Harvard Business School, is a nationally recognized spokesperson providing thought-leadership and sensible advice to help accounting and payroll professionals build deeper more profitable relationships with clients. Alter, President of SurePayroll, writes the Trade Secrets column on INC.com and is frequently published in Bloomberg TV, the Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.